SJMC faculty, staff, alumni and students recognized for achievement

Assistant professor Katy Culver was named a finalist for the Scripps Howard Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year award.

Two of Professor Robert Drechsel‘s articles (one sole-authored and one co-authored with former SJMC faculty member Tom Grimes) were selected as among the Top 50 Classic Journalism Quarterly/Journalism & Mass Communication Articles as part of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication centennial celebration.

Evjue-Bascom Professor Sharon Dunwoody, who is retiring at the end of this academic year, was the recipient of one of four campuswide Hilldale Awards — believed to be a first for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Dunwoody was recognized for her contributions to teaching, research and service in the field of social studies.

Professor Lewis Friedland has been named Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor and earned a College of Letters & Science Leon Epstein Faculty Fellow position for his research, teaching and service.

Faculty associate Patricia Hastings is president of the Associated Press Broadcasters Association Advisory Board and serves on the education committee for the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Associate professor Susan Robinson won the 2012 Krieghbaum Under-40 Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, given to association members under 40 years of age who have shown outstanding achievement and effort in the areas of teaching, research and public service. Robinson also earned tenure in the last year.

Assistant professor Karyn Riddle received the campuswide Class of 1955 Distinguished Teaching Award.

The Graduate School Research Committee awarded Professor Dhavan Shah a campuswide Kellett Mid-Career Faculty Researcher Award — believed to be another first for the school.

Lecturer Steven Walters was named Wisconsin Journalist of the Year by the Milwaukee Press Club. In addition to teaching in the school, Walters is senior producer for WisconsinEye, the state’s public affairs network, and was Capitol bureau chief for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Stephen J.A. Ward, James E. Burgess Professor of Journalism Ethics and director of the Center for Journalism Ethics, is leaving UW-Madison at the end of the academic year for a new position at the University of Oregon.

Assistant professor Chris Wells received a 2013 Distinguished Honors Faculty Award from the College of Letters & Science. The award recognizes teaching in honors courses. An article by Wells and two co-authors, “Communicating Civic Engagement: Contrasting Models of Citizenship in the Youth Web Sphere,” published in the Journal of Communication in 2011, was named by the Political Communication Interest Group of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication as the top research paper published that year.

Culver and Wells were both chosen for the new Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence program, funded by the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates. The duo will participate in a year-long program intended to improve the quality of undergraduate education by offering professional development in teaching and learning to early-career faculty members.

Alumni awards
Natasha Haynes-Smith, who received her master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from UW-Madison in 1997, was selected as one of 10 recipients of the Wisconsin Alumni Association’s “Forward Under Forty” awards this year. Haynes-Smith is a member of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s Board of Visitors.

Student awards
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication have won a national award for their collaborative efforts to produce investigative reporting. The Associated Press Media Editors’ first Innovator of the Year for College Students award recognized the work of the  center and school, which since 2009 have collaborated in classrooms and through paid internships.

The 2012 staff of Curb Magazine won the school’s first-ever Society of Professional Journalists National Mark of Excellence Award for best student magazine. The magazine took top honors in a competition among 12 regions across the country.

Do you have a professional honor, new job, career change or life news to share with classmates? Please send them to to be included in a future issue of Vilas Insider.